Blizzards are intense winter storms characterized by heavy snow, strong winds, and extremely low temperatures. These weather events can last for several days and cause power outages, transportation disruptions, and other hazards. If you live in an area prone to blizzards and other winter storms, it’s essential to know how to prepare for them to keep yourself and your family safe. In this article, we’ll explain what blizzard weather is, how it forms, and what you can do to prepare for it.
What is Blizzard Weather?
Blizzard weather is a type of winter storm that occurs when strong winds blow snow into the air, causing whiteout conditions and reducing visibility to less than a quarter of a mile. The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as a storm that lasts for three hours or longer with sustained winds of 35 miles per hour or more, and considerable falling or blowing snow that frequently reduces visibility to less than a quarter of a mile.
How Does Blizzard Weather Form?
Blizzards typically form when a cold front collides with warm air, causing moisture in the air to condense and form snow. Strong winds then pick up the snow and create whiteout conditions, which can make driving and walking treacherous. Blizzards can also be caused by low-pressure systems that move across the country, bringing cold air and precipitation.
What Are the Effects of Blizzard Weather?
Blizzard weather can have several hazardous effects, including power outages, transportation disruptions, and damage to buildings and other structures. The heavy snow and strong winds can cause trees to fall, power lines to snap, and roofs to collapse under the weight of the snow. Blizzard weather can also cause hypothermia and frostbite if individuals are exposed to the cold temperatures for an extended period.
How to Prepare for Blizzard Weather?
It’s essential to prepare for blizzard weather before it hits to keep yourself and your family safe. Here are some tips on how to prepare for blizzard weather:
4.1. Stock up on Supplies
Stock up on non-perishable food, water, and medications that can last for at least three days. Make sure you have enough batteries, flashlights, and candles to last throughout the storm. It’s also a good idea to have a battery-powered radio or a hand-crank radio to stay informed about weather updates and emergency alerts.
4.2. Check Your Heating System
Make sure your heating system is in good working condition and can keep your home warm throughout the storm. If you use a fireplace or wood stove, have enough wood on hand to last for at least three days.
4.3. Prepare Your Car
Prepare your car for the storm by filling the gas tank, checking the antifreeze, and ensuring the tires are properly inflated. It’s also a good idea to keep a winter survival kit in your car, including a blanket, warm clothing, and non-perishable food.
4.4. Create an Emergency Plan
Create an emergency plan with your family to know what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure everyone knows where to go and what to do if you lose power or need to evacuate. Also, keep important documents, such as insurance policies and identification, in a waterproof container.